Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Warning in the West

Actually, the Doyle-ites don't have to look across the Rockies to see the future of Wisconsin--they could look at Michigan, instead.

But California is a hot topic.

We note that JimboDoylie carefully phrased his budget proposal to make it seem as though there would be LESS State employees next year. It's not true, of course...but California teaches a lesson.

Democrats . . . refuse to consider large-scale rollbacks of state government programs. Doing so would jeopardize their standing among key constituencies, especially public-sector unions like AFSCME and SEIU. Instead, they want to bulldoze Republicans into jacking up taxes even higher, making the state that much less competitive and forcing business relocation to increase.

As McCain notes, that is also called "capital flight."

Capital is portable, and predatory governments will eventually cause disinvestment, as investors seek opportunites elsewhere. As investment flees, private-sector employment stagnates and declines, and smart young people leave to find someplace where they have a chance to get ahead

And a large part of the problem is unionized public employees.

By 2005, journalist Steve Malanga observed, "Wages average a hefty 37 percent higher in the public sector, but the differences in benefits are even more dramatic. Local governments pay 128 percent more, on average, than private employers to finance workers' health-care benefits, and 162 percent more on retirement benefits."

By the way, the first city to allow public employees to organize was New York. By no coincidence, the current Mayor of New York City is prophesying Armageddon for that city.

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